A Lancashire Ballad
by Robert W. Service
Says I to my Missis: "Ba goom, lass! you've something, I see, on your mind."
Says she: "You are right, Sam, I've something. It 'appens it's on me be'ind.
A Boil as 'ud make Job be jealous. It 'urts me no end when I sit."
Says I: "Go to 'ospittel, Missis. The might 'ave to coot it a bit"
Says she: "I just 'ate to be showin' the part of me person it's at."
Says I: "Don't be fussy; them doctors sees sight far more 'orrid that that."
So Missis goes off togged up tasty, and there at the 'ospittel door
They tells 'er to see the 'ouse Doctor, 'oose office is Room Thirty-four.
So she 'unts up and down till she finds it, and knocks and a voice says: "Come in,"
And there is a 'andsome young feller, in white from 'is 'eels to 'is chin.
"I've got a boil," says my Missis. "it 'urts me for fair when I sit,
And Sam (that's me 'usband) 'as asked me to ask you to coot it a bit."
Then blushin' she plucks up her courage, and bravely she shows 'im the place,
And 'e gives it a proper inspections, wi' a 'eap o' surprise on 'is face.
The 'e says wi' and accent o' Scotland: "Whit ye hae is a bile, Ah can feel,
But ye'd better consult the heid Dockter; they caw him Professor O'Neil.
He's special for biles and carbuncles. Ye'll find him in Room Sixty-three.
No charge, Ma'am. It's been a rale pleasure. Jist tell him ye're comin from me."
So Missis she thanks 'im politely, and 'unts up and down as before,
Till she comes to a big 'andsome room with "Professor O'Neil" on the door.
Then once more she plucks up her courage, and knocks and a voice says: "All right."
So she enters, and sees a fat feller wi' whiskers, all togged up in white.
"I've got a big boil," says my Missis, "and if ye will kindly permit,
I'd like for to 'ave you inspect it; it 'urts me like all when I sit."
So blushin' as red as a beet-root she 'astens to show 'im the spot,
And 'e says wi'a look o' amazement: "Sure, Ma'am, it must hurrt ye a lot."
Then 'e puts on 'is specs to regard it, and finally says wi' a frown:
"I'll bet it's a sore as the divvle, espacially whin ye sit down.
I think it's a case for the Surgeon; ye'd better consult Doctor Hoyle.
I've no hisitation in sayin' yer boil is a hill of a boil."
So Missis she thanks 'im for sayin' her boil is a hill of a boil,
And 'unts all around till she comes on a door that is marked: "Doctor Hoyle."
But by now she 'as fair got the wind up, and trembles in every limb;
But she thinks: "After all 'e's a Doctor. Ah moosn't be bashful wi' 'im."
She's made o' good stoof is the Missis, so she knocks and a voice says: "'Oos there?"
"It's me," says ma Bessie, an' enters a room which is spacious and bare.
And a wise-lookin' old feller greets 'er, and 'e too is togged up in white.
"It's the room where they coot ye," think Bessies; and shakes like a jelly wi' fright.
"Ah got a big boil," begins Missis, "and if ye are sure you don't mind,
I'd like ye to see it a moment. It 'urts me, because it's be'ind."
So thinkin she'd best get it over, she 'astens to show 'im the place,
And 'e stares at 'her kindo surprised like, an' gets very red in the face.
But 'e looks at it most conscientious, from every angle of view,
Then 'e says wi' a shrug o' 'is shoulders: "Pore Lydy, I'm sorry for you.
It wants to be cut, but you should 'ave a medical bloke to do that.
Sye, why don't yer go to the 'orsespittel, where all the Doctors is at?
Ye see, Ma'am, this part o' the buildin' is closed on account o' repairs;
Us fellers is only the pynters, a-pyntin' the 'alls and the stairs."